50 Word Thursday #16 – Lonely Being Different.

Debbie Whittam has set a challenge to write a poem or story in 50 words, or multiples of 50 up to a maximum of 250 words, inspired by a picture and include some particular lines.



Here is the Picture:


Here are the Words: He had lived his life at one remove from the world around him, and now he was paying the price in madness.

John Connolly – Night Music.  Nocturnes Volume 2


And here is my attempt:

Lonely Being Different

Paolo revelled in being different and always had. He wasn’t going to conform. That’s why he painted his house blue when most in the street were light or dark brown. He wanted to stand out. He didn’t get on with his neighbours. They shunned him because he refused to conform to their rules. He wouldn’t go to church with them on Sundays. He refused to do his washing on Monday when people would gather at the laundry and do their washing and gossip. He didn’t join them; he provided them with something to gossip about. When they hung their washing out he waited until they took theirs in before doing his. They tutted on Tuesday when they gazed up at his underpants waving in the breeze above their heads. He refused to develop any relationship with them.

The thing that really set him apart was his sexuality. He had chosen to set up home with Andreas. He’d met him one night at the local bar. He was from another part of the country where people no longer gossiped about people who were different. He believed Andreas was the one for him and they were happy. That’s why it had been such a shock when he read the letter. Andreas had left him and gone home. He was devastated and he had no one he could take comfort from. He had lived his life at one removed from the world around him, and now he was paying the price in madness.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 30/August/2018

FOWC with Fandango — Develop


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People are far too complicated to be able to describe in a few words so I am not even going to try.

21 thoughts on “50 Word Thursday #16 – Lonely Being Different.”

  1. I like how you ended it with the prompt and no started as would be the norm. this is great storytelling. i think Paolo liked the mystery and the gossip going around him or maybe he was really someone so intriguing because he just lived his life the way he wanted to. I am sad he and Andreas did not work out, some relationships have extrinsic factors they cannot navigate I guess, but Paolo would have been strong enough for both of them, so a pity he collapsed under the pressure. I enjoy stories like these because it is real and relevant.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Gina. Yes, I felt sorry for Paolo and the fact that things didn’t work out for him. He revelled in nonconformity, which can be admired, but it meant that he had ostracised himself from a support network, but then would they have been much help to him anyway? Glad you liked my little tale.

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    2. I think he would be surprised how many would support him. People talk we can’t stop them but there are kind people who take an interest from all that talk. yes I really really enjoyed this, been awhile since I read something so real

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  2. I love this. I think my thought is very similar to singledusts because I was thinking I wonder who is REALLY doing the ostracizing? Sometimes people see what they want to and it isn’t real at all. Oooh there’s a challenge! I bet you could write a great story from 3-4 points of view and all see something different because honestly, that’s how people are – I see a cute and adorable fluffy kitten – ‘im indoors sees a shit machine with claws!!

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    1. That is very true. I wanted that element to come through that he wanted to be different but by emphasising that he could no longer connect with his neighbours. I think we are all different but we are also all human and sometimes people’s desire to ‘rebel’ only adds to their loneliness.

      Liked by 1 person

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